Reducing the Harms of Marijuana Prohibition

Marijuana arrests are the engine driving the U.S. war on drugs. These arrests fall disproportionately on blacks and Latinos, even though white people use marijuana at similar rates.
 
Many of those who are arrested are saddled with a criminal conviction that can make it difficult or impossible to vote, obtain educational loans, get a job, secure housing, or even adopt a child.
 
 
Additionally, the huge number of marijuana arrests each year usurps scarce law enforcement, criminal justice, and treatment resources at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers.
 
The Drug Policy Alliance works to reduce the number of marijuana related arrests and associated penalties through crafting and advocating for legislation removing or reducing criminal penalties, initiatives making marijuana arrests the lowest law enforcement priority, and community based policy changes.  
 
DPA also works to expose and reduce rampant, system-wide racial disparities in marijuana arrests. DPA has released reports documenting and detailing chilling disparities in New York City and across California and continues to raise awareness about the unique burden U.S. marijuana policy places on black and Latino communities.
 
Marijuana prohibition has also caused incalculable violence and destruction by fostering an illegal marijuana market. Organized crime, drug cartels, and gangs are the greatest financial beneficiaries of marijuana prohibition. In Mexico, illegal marijuana sales have contributed to the loss of tens of thousands of lives.

Advocates Challenge de Blasio to Stop Running from His Record and to Address Racial Disparities in Marijuana Arrests

Statement from Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) New York State Director Kassandra Frederique in Response to Mayor’s Attack on DPA Report

NEW YORK — Today, Mayor de Blasio’s office published a statement disputing the findings of the Drug Policy Alliance report, “Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York.” The report details that marijuana possession arrests under Mayor de Blasio c

Contact: 

Tony Newman (646)335-5384

Kassandra Frederique (646) 209-0374

Tale of Two New Yorks Endures under de Blasio as NYPD Continues Discriminatory Marijuana Arrests

NYPD Made More Marijuana Possession Arrests under de Blasio/Bratton from 2014 to 2016 than Giuliani/Bratton from 1994 to 1996

Extreme Racial Disparities Persist as Black and Latino New Yorkers comprise 85% of Marijuana Possession Arrests, Despite Young Whites Using at Higher Rates

New York, NY: A new report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance, shows that marijuana possession arrests under Mayor de Blasio continue to be marked by extremely high racial disparities, as was the case under the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations.

Contact:

Kassandra Frederique (646) 209-0374
Tony Newman (646) 335-538

Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio's New York

July 11, 2017
Drug Policy Alliance & Marijuana Arrest Research Project

A new report by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project, commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance, shows that marijuana possession arrests under Mayor de Blasio continue to be marked by extremely high racial disparities, as was the case under the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations.

Tale of Two New Yorks Endures Under Mayor de Blasio as NYPD Continues Discriminatory Marijuana Arrests

Extreme Racial Disparities Persist as Black and Latino New Yorkers Comprise 85% of Marijuana Possession Arrests, Despite Young Whites Using at Higher Rates

New York, NY: On July 11, the Marijuana Arrest Research Project will release a major report commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance.

The report, Unjust and Unconstitutional: 60,000 Jim Crow Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s New York, shows that despite changing mayoral administrations and police commissioners, the NYPD continues to make large numbers of unjust and racially-targeted marijuana possession arrests.

Contact:

Kassandra Frederique (646) 209-0374
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

New Drug Policy Alliance Report: It's Time for the U.S. to Decriminalize Drug Use and Possession

Tuesday Teleconference at 1pm (ET): ACLU, Human Rights Watch, Law Enforcement Action Partnership, Movement for Black Lives, and LatinoJustice Join DPA to Call for Decriminalization

Supporters of Decriminalization Include the United Nations, World Health Organization, International Red Cross, Organization of American States, NAACP, National Latino Congreso, and American Public Health Association

Defying Retrograde Federal Administration, U.S. States & Localities Are Taking Lead Unraveling Drug War and Implementing Health-Based Drug Policies

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Jag Davies 212-613-8035

Homeland Security Chief: Marijuana Possession is Grounds for Deportation

General Kelly Echoes Trump Commitment to Escalating the Drug War

DPA: War on Drugs is a War on Immigrants

In a speech yesterday, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced that the Trump Administration would use marijuana possession as a reason for deporting immigrants. “ICE will continue to use marijuana possession, distribution and convictions as essential elements as they build their deportation removal apprehension packages for targeted operations against illegal aliens living in the United States,” he said.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Jerónimo Saldaña 917-410-1270

Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance Fails in Atlanta City Council

Residents Show Up in Full Force to Show Support Decriminalization, Remind Council of Their Obligation to its Citizens

Yesterday the Atlanta City Council failed to pass Ordinance 17-O-1152, which would have decriminalized marijuana in the city. After hearing from many Atlanta residents the ordinance was referred to the Public Safety Committee for a further review in a 10-4 vote.

Contact:

Michelle Wright 202-854-9424
Tony Newman 646-335-5384

Israeli Cabinet Approves Proposal to Decriminalize Marijuana

Proposal Far from Perfect – Includes Big Fines and Does Not Expunge Criminal Records or Eliminate Criminal Charges

DPA’s Ethan Nadelmann Says Proposal a Good Symbolic Step Forward, But “The Devil Is In The Details”

On Sunday, Israel took a big step toward decriminalizing adult marijuana use. The Israeli Cabinet approved a proposal that would replace criminal penalties with fines for people who are caught using marijuana in public.

Contact:

Tony Newman 646-335-5384
Hannah Hetzer 212-613-8060

New Mexico State Senate Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill By Wide, Bi-Partisan Margin

SB258 Reduces Penalties for Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia

Santa Fe, NM – This afternoon, the New Mexico’s State Senate voted (33-9) to pass Senate Bill 258, sponsored by Senator Joseph Cervantes, D-Las Cruces, reducing penalties for adults who possess small amounts of marijuana and drug paraphernalia. The final vote was bi-partisan with eight Republicans voting in support (Baca, Brandt, Ingle, Moores, Neville, Pirtle, Rue, and Woods). The bill was amended on the floor to reduce the amount that would be decriminalized from 1 ounce to ½ ounce.

Contact:

Emily Kaltenbach (505) 920-5256
Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Advocates Push Crucial Legislation to Seal Past Marijuana Possession Convictions

Sealing Records for Low-Level Marijuana Offenses Could Help Prevent Deportations in Trump America

Albany—Today, advocates and legislators held a press conference in Albany to demand reprieve for the harm that has been caused by arrests for low-level marijuana possession and mobilize for legislative solutions to keep New York families together. New York’s marijuana arrest crusade began more than 20 years ago. Since then, police departments across the state have arrested more than 800,000 New Yorkers for low-level marijuana possession offenses.

Contact:

Tony Newman (646) 335-5384

Chris Alexander (646) 701-2256

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